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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to South American cichlids and have a 55-gallon to stock.
I'd like to have a community of one main colorful species and a dozen tetras for movement, and some cories for bottom. What do you suggest for the main species? I really like the German rams but I understand they are a little picky and I may not have enough experience with SA to keep them. Other choice would be geos (red head Tapajos) but wondering if they are too large for the tank. Lastly, I have the tank with peace river gravel instead of sand. Is that ok for SA? Appreciate all the help.
 

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Nannacara anomola, although even they might have territorial issues with the corydoras. Blue acara is another possibility, although I wouldnt mix them with corydoras. I tend to air on the side of caution when mixing bottom dwellers with cichlids.
 

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You can do a nice SA tank with Bolivian rams (much hardier than blue rams), cories and lots of tetras. My favorite tetras are rummynoses because they are very active and sweep back and forth in a school. I also like pencilfish. The rummynoses school near the bottom and the pencilfish school near the top.

With regard to geos, they may grow too large for a 55 and need sand as a substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your suggestions. Mambee, I like your tank suggestion and looks like it's what your tank is. Do you have a picture of it? Can I see it? How many Bolivian Rams can I have for this size tank? I would love to have them breed so what would be the appropriate male/female ratio? Lastly, would the cories and pencilfish eat the young or are the parents good enough to care for them? I plan to also have a lot of drift wood and plants in the tank. Thanks.
 

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I'll try to post a picture. I've kept as many as 5 Bolivian rams in my 90 without any problems. Best to have more females than males. It helps that it is heavily planted with lots of driftwood. My rams bred in my tank, but the babies were eventually picked off. Cories may eat the eggs but the fry will be ok. My pencilfish stay near the top of the tank and have very small mouths, so they won't be a problem once the fry start to grow.

I've had great luck growing anubias tied to driftwood in all of my tanks. I recently had to throw a bunch out because my tank was getting overgrown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Throwing out plants? That's a sin... you should send them to me... I'm not that far away. LOL
This tank is only 55 so I will probably start with 6 juvies and wean down to a trio. Would love to see your tank and how you have the driftwood with the anubias.
 

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I tried to post a video but it didn't work. I felt bad about throwing out the plants but I don't have a LFS or friends who keep fish. Let me know if you are ever in the White Plains area and I will set you up.
 

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Mambee, your last link worked well and I have to say I love the video of your tank with the various tetras and the glass catfish!!!!
 

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Looking back at that old video, I regret ripping out so many plants recently, but some of the anubias were growing against the top cover. I'll have to let me plants grow out again.

Glass catfish are underappreciated, as are debauwi cats, which are like miniature iridescent sharks.
 

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Actually I don't have any Bolivian rams at the moment. They all have passed from old age. Congo tetras are nice but they get very large. You want to make sure that they are in scale with any other tetras that you add to the tank.
 
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